The BJP heads into the first phase of the Gujarat elections without having released a manifesto yet, an absence that led to various explanations by various party leaders contacted The Indian Express. It also led to jibes on social media from the Congress, which had released its manifesto earlier this week, its highlight being a promised quota for Patidars.
“The BJP has shown unbelievable disrespect towards the people of Gujarat. Campaign is over and STILL no mention of a manifesto for the people, no vision and no ideas presented for Gujarat’s future,” Rahul Gandhi’s official handle tweeted. In 2012, then CM Narendra Modi had released the BJP manifesto a week before the first phase of polling. This year, the party released its Himachal manifesto 10 days in advance.
BJP manifesto committee chairman Jaynarayan Vyas said the manifesto is ready. “The chairman’s job is till the manifesto is prepared. After that it is up to the party to decide the timing of the release,” Vyas said. BJP state spokesperson Bharat Pandya said: “Manifesto committee members are meeting regularly to fine-tune major aspects. When state leaders complete the details, it will be out immediately.”
In Delhi, BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said the BJP party already given its account to people in its 23 years in power. “We have already given our account to the people. And we have given the assurance that we will take our work forward,” he said. “We will come out with the manifesto at the right time.”
Vijendrasinh Vaghela, Gandhinagar BJP Yuva Morcha president, said: “The BJP does not need to release a manifesto. It is already done all development and there is nothing left to make any new promises.”
Manifesto committee member R C Faldu said, “I have no idea about the status of the manifesto; I have been busy campaigning.” His committee colleague Jagdish Bhavsar said: “I have nothing to comment on this.” BJP state president Jitu Vaghani was not available for comment. Congress leader Ahmed Patel, too, put out a tweet, giving three reasons for the absence of a BJP manifesto: “… This is because – 1. Vikas was never their agenda, 2. They don’t want to answer questions about 2012 promises, 3. They have realised that their defeat is certain.”